Eliciting Sensory Percepts by Macrosieve Stimulation of the Rat Sciatic Nerve

2017 Pilot Project Read More

Investigators

Principal Investigator: Wilson (Zack) Ray (WashU Neurosurgery)
Collaborator: Dan Moran (WashU Biomedical Engineering)

Description

Conventional upper-limb prostheses are limited by their inability to provide sensory feedback (i.e., a sense of touch), rendering prosthetic control unintuitive and cumbersome. Developing technologies to overcome this barrier remains an area of active research today. Our research group focuses on one such technology: the macrosieve electrode (MSE). When implanted in residual peripheral nerve following amputation, the MSE can direct electrical currents through the nerve tissue to generate sensations that appear to originate in the phantom limb. This project examines two aspects of MSE performance that will determine its clinical viability. First, it seeks to establish the minimum current threshold required to trigger a sensation; lower thresholds are preferable for reasons related to biocompatibility and power. Second, it examines whether currents directed through different parts of the nerve produce sensations localized to different parts of the phantom limb. If yes, then the MSE’s versatility as a sensory interface will be greatly augmented.

Investigators

Pilot project teams include Hope Center faculty members and others. For more about Hope Center faculty on this team, click below.

Wilson Z. Ray